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Repairs to Theatre Royal roof to get underway

Urgent repairs to the roof of the Theatre Royal will get underway shortly to stop it from leaking.

Plymouth City Council, as landlord to the building, will fund the work which is needed to stop water getting in through the fly tower and smoke vent roofs. The repairs will also include new felting and drainage improvements.

A decision is being signed today that gives the go-ahead for a package of work with contractors Cleggs and Shortman appointed to do the project, which is expected to take 12 weeks.         

Cleggs recently completed the Ballard House roofing project and have been previously involved in patch repairs to the Theatre Royal’s roof. The decision authorises £288,975 to be added to the Council’s capital programme and will be funded through corporate borrowing.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, cabinet member for Housing, Cooperative Development and Communities said: “The Theatre Royal was built by the Council and its main aim was to be a place where arts could thrive and a place for the people of Plymouth as well as the surrounding towns and countryside to enjoy quality performance and entertainment.

“It has become so much more than that. I’m proud that TRP is the leading regional producing theatre in the country. It is a cultural powerhouse and we are very proud in our role in making this happen.

“As landlord for this important and listed building, we accept that from time to time we need to invest in it to make sure it is fit for purpose for years to come. This building and its staff play a key role in our nighttime economy, in educating and inspiring all ages and in the city’s reputation regionally and nationally. We are happy to do our bit.”

Chief Executive and Executive Producer of Theatre Royal Plymouth, James Mackenzie-Blackman said: "We are incredibly grateful to Plymouth City Council for their support in tackling the urgent repairs needed to our roof. The city council understand the role we play in the life of the city and the impact our work has on residents.

"Over the years ahead we are committed to further capital works to ensure our two buildings are fit-for-purpose and help us to deliver our mission to create, make, build and present worldclass theatre."

The building was commissioned by Plymouth City Council as a venue that could cater for both large and small productions. Its main 1,500-seater auditorium has a movable roof that can be lowered to conceal the upper seating. It was opened in 1982. In 2018 the building was given Grade II listing status.